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Grandparent's Rights in Australian Family Law

Grandparents play an important and unique role in many children's lives. Grandparents can provide a secure emotional base, encouragement, routine, protection, and support to the grandchild. During periods of family distress and breakdown, a strong bond between a grandparent and grandchild can bring stability to a child.

Family breakdown can be devastating and have far reaching consequences, not just for parents but for grandparents and other family members. When parents separate, grandparents often feel the pain and loss their children are experiencing, but also the pain and loss of their grandchildren. They may want to have an ongoing relationship with their grandchildren.

Last month we wrote to you about your parental rights in family law, but what about grandparents and their legal rights to enjoy a relationship with their grandchildren?

As a grandparent, you can bring an application and be party to matters involving your grandchildren. This is provided under section 65C of the Family Law Act which allows persons ‘concerned with the care and welfare and development of the child’, to bring an application to the court. However, you are first required to satisfy the court that you have that role in the child’s life.

Like any other family law matter dealing with children, the Court relies on the foundational principle, and considers what is in the best interest of the child. This includes a variety of factors which we mentioned in the last article (Parental Rights). One of these factors is maintaining meaningful relationships with parents and others, and to enjoy their culture with other people who share that culture (for instance, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds). These could include extended family relationships, like grandparents.

In today’s world, families come in all combinations, shapes and sizes, the most important consideration is that there is a loving and stable environment for children to flourish.

We endeavour to help you so please contact us if you have any questions or enquiries on family law matters.

At Voice Lawyers, we understand your concerns and are happy to assist you in navigating the legal processes in family law matters.

Please call us at Voice Lawyers on (02) 92318602 or to make an appointment.

Voice Lawyers have offices in Sydney CBD and Macquarie Park. Our offices are located at Avaya House in Macquarie Park and Chifley Tower in the CBD.

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